Island Health making progress on vaccinating all adults in small, remote communities

·2 min read
A health worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo, B.C., in January. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health - image credit)
A health worker administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo, B.C., in January. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health - image credit)

Adults living in Tofino and Ucluelet can now book appointments to receive a COVID-19 vaccine starting the week of April 12.

The Vancouver Island municipalities are two of the latest included in the Island Health Authority's approach to vaccinate everyone at once in small, remote communities.

Between Dec. 22 and March 26, Island Health has delivered more than 100,000 first doses of the vaccine to health-care workers, seniors and Indigenous people, and all adults in some communities.

"I am so proud of the unprecedented work undertaken by our teams and partners, and I'm optimistic for what this milestone represents in our collective fight against COVID-19," said Dr. Richard Stanwick, Island Health's chief medical health officer in a release.

More than 13 per cent of the population that Island Health serves has now received a first dose.

The health authority says its "whole community" approach is for places where there are smaller populations and barriers, such as ferry rides or significant air or ground travel to get to or from the locations.

5 more communities

Older or vulnerable residents received the first shots, but now all adults 18 or older who wanted a vaccine, have received the jab in Woss, Kyuquot, Port Renfrew, Sayward and Zeballos.

Now Island Health is asking people aged 18 or older in Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Hardy, Port McNeill and Port Alice to call 1-833-348-4787 to book an appointment for vaccine clinics in those communities, which will commence the week of April 12.

Island Health says it could take several weeks to vaccinate all the people in those communities.

The authority says it is on track to adminster first doses to all eligible people in its region before July 1, and will administer second doses around 16 weeks after people receive their first shot.

On Thursday, B.C. recorded another 832 cases of COVID-19 and five more deaths as health officials urged everyone to play it safe and not travel over the long weekend.

Doses administered

A total of 787,649 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to date in B.C., including 87,394 second doses.

People aged 55-65 who are living in the Lower Mainland can currently register to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine by calling their local pharmacies.

Currently, anyone who is 72 or older can book an appointment through the province's vaccination call centres.